Shawn Christoper asks Dossy, “What do you do for AOL?”

Fellow AOL’er Shawn Christopher emailed me a few questions in response my Ask Dossy post back in February 2006 and they got buried in my inbox. I ran across the email today and figured it’s about time I responded.

Shawn asks …

What is it exactly that you do for AOL. I belive reading
something from your KW: Phone info it’s something that deals with
programming Web Content however I’m not too sure.

Officially, my current title is “Principal Software Engineer,” which implies that I, well, engineer software … I’m not responsible for the programming of our web content. The confusion might be stemming from the previous name of the group I work in, which was “Web Services & Publishing.” Of course, none of this answers your original question, exactly.

Anything that you specifically “own”?

Philosophically, no. I’m a big believer in Extreme Programming, which advocates Collective Code Ownership. I’ve worked on a range of projects at AOL as well as lent a hand to project teams ad-hoc when they’ve needed help, but I don’t feel like I “own” a project. I’ve been responsible for plenty of things and certainly accountable for a lot, but I’ve never considered that to be ownership.

Even with respect to AOLserver, where I’ve been the Project Leader since May 2004, I don’t own the project. I see my role as being more a liason between AOL and the AOLserver community. I might also help facilitate discussion around features or bugs and ultimately serve as a decision tie-breaker when necessary. But, I still feel that the community owns the project and I’m just a humble servant trying to keep it moving forward.

Also what nationality are you because to be honest with you I thought you were female based on your name, it sounds like a femine asian name.

I’m a banana: half Japanese and half Korean, but born and raised in America.

Shawn, thanks again for the questions and I’m sorry it took me so long to post my answers. As usual, feel free to Ask Dossy anything … I may not answer in a timely fashion, but I do hope to eventually. :-)


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